M4's The Hobbit Book Edit

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Faneditor Name:
Tagline:
A fan edit that combines The Hobbit trilogy into a more faithful and captivating single-movie experience.
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
2012 / 2013 / 2014
Original Running Time:
499
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
245
Time Cut:
254
Time Added:
0
Subtitles Available?
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
A fan edit that combines The Hobbit trilogy into one film that closely follows the book and also sits better with The Lord of the Rings film trilogy with regards to visuals / physics / combat. However, other than atmosphere, each story's tone and narrative will still be distinct without any forced references; the focus has been brought back to Bilbo's adventure with only a few subtle nods to the ensuing trilogy remaining.
Intention:
I felt that the trilogy had "too much," whether it be all the sideplots, CGI, action, or its overall length. As a huge fan of the book who also wanted to enjoy the film version, I decided to edit the movies down to fit with what Tolkien wrote, which coincided with rectifying all of said critiques. Not only did I make this project for us purist Tolkien fans, but also for casual audiences who may just prefer a more digestible and focused narrative, regardless of the book. As a result, I have created a new presentation of what a standalone "extended" Hobbit movie could have been like, which I find to be a more captivating, enjoyable, and emotionally impactful adaptation.
Other Sources:
- Howard Shore’s The Hobbit Original Motion Picture Soundtracks (Special Edition)
- The Battle of the Five Armies Appendices Part 11 (Gandalf's cut eulogy)
- The Hobbit - Complete Recordings (Fan Project)
- Additional theatrical version footage from all 3 movies
- Various free & self-recorded sound effects
Special Thanks:
Eric Odmyr for making amazing and groundbreaking new VFX for my edit

Timothée Masurel his for restored unreleased soundtrack

Dustin Lee for a VFX shot

TM2YC for reviewing my edit and helping me learn to become a member here

ArtisDead for supporting the project and helping me find my way to approval

InfoDroid for reviewing and approving my edit

...and everyone who has supported the project or given feedback! This edit is dedicated to fans of Tolkien and the LOTR films, making it has been a pleasure and I hope you all enjoy watching it as much as I did making it.
Release Information:
  • Digital
  • Blu-Ray
Special Features
- Chapter Stops: Based off book chapters
- Subtitles: English [Closed Captions], English, Brazilian Portuguese, Bulgarian, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, and Dwarvish]
- Editors Audio Commentary: Audio track discussing all the changes made in this project.
- Bonus Scenes: Footage that was re-edited but cut from the main feature, including “Durin’s Folk,” “The White Council,” and several random deleted scenes. [ISOs only]
- Behind the Scenes: A recording of what the project looks like in the editing software, overviewing various editing techniques. [ISOs only]
- Release Trailer: Promotional trailer I made that shows off various changes and edits. [ISOs only]
Editing Details:
1) Be more faithful to The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien while still being under Peter Jackson’s vision and functioning as a cinematically enjoyable experience. Includes making the plot focus on the main quest, adjusting characterization, and also decreasing the numerous references to LOTR.

2) Consistent tone as the story progresses from its lighthearted beginning to darker ending. With this, a convincing atmosphere displaying more realistic combat and physics is present throughout.

3) Maintain professional film editing techniques, specifically with making smooth audio transitions, maintaining a surround sound mix with new edits, and well-balanced pacing.

4) Stay in Middle Earth as long as possible with our beloved characters, never cut anything “good” or from the book purely for the sake of runtime. Hence, this edit is presented as an "extended edition."

5) Appeal to all Middle Earth & movie fans, regardless of what their prior knowledge is with any of the books or original films.

The extended editions were used as the base cuts along with additional theatrical footage in order to deliver the most polished end result using all available footage. The final 4-hour runtime blends right in with the LOTR extended editions, making for a perfect marathon of now four films rather than six.
Cuts and Additions:
- Overall Changes -

All three extended Hobbit films ripped from the official 1080p Blu-rays and combined into one movie. An Unexpected Journey covers the first half, while The Desolation of Smaug & The Battle of the Five Armies cover the second half.

Lossless DTS-HD Master Audio extracted to edit in a 5.1 surround sound mix. For any music changes from the official soundtrack, lossless CDQ tracks were used.

The entire book was read while this project was edited to ensure no mistakes or accidental missing details. Occasional deviations from the text were obviously necessary to maintain steady pacing, fleshed out characters, and a logical narrative on screens.

Added subtle 35mm film grain overlay throughout the entire trilogy to reduce the digital look and match slightly closer to the LOTR films.

Reduced saturation & vibrancy throughout the entire trilogy where necessary to give a more natural look that also fits closer with the LOTR films.

Reduced green tint throughout the entire trilogy where necessary to give a more natural look, letting the blues and reds shine more.

The single movie is split with a short “Intermission” on the digital versions, and an “Insert next disc” screen on the Blu-ray version.

Rather than an intermission being exactly 50% of the way in, it is strategically placed a bit over 40% of the way in to cover up the jump from An Unexpected Journey to The Desolation of Smaug. This works well, as the “second part” has a larger climax and more plots to resolve, making it thematically logical to have a longer runtime, similar to RotK having the longest runtime of the three LOTR films. There is also a shift in tone after An Unexpected Journey which makes for a satisfying placement of the intermission.

- An Unexpected Party -

Adjusted coloring on opening texts & title screen to give them a nice warm goldish-brownish look but not too bright or too dull.

Adjusted audio for the opening to account for the new structure. Contains a mix of “My Dear Frodo,” “Old Friends,” various new sound effects, and re-arranged Bilbo narration.

Opening narration begins with “In a hole in the ground” and has been adjusted to only give the audience what they need before moving to young Bilbo, as well as referencing some lines from the book’s first chapter.

Bilbo now only introduces himself as a Hobbit, where he is from, where his “story” began (which was with Gandalf), and how he used to be a very different & respectable Hobbit, while nothing unexpected ever happened.

Color adjusted the rearranged shot of Bilbo reflecting on his younger self so that it appears as if this took place in daytime rather than the dark early morning.

Entire flashback opening is cut. The Lonely Mountain & Smaug remain a mystery to both young Bilbo and the audience that we will soon learn about as the story progresses; we have to wait to see the Mountain until we actually reach it.

Removed extended Frodo scenes, he now only makes a short thirty-second cameo with no dialogue.

Removed An Unexpected Journey title screen, instead cutting right from old Bilbo to young Bilbo after only a two minute opening.

Cut Gandalf jump-scaring Bilbo through the window to make his character more like the book and less “scary.”

Cut ending portion of the market scene where Bilbo thinks Gandalf is coming after him, again, to reduce some silliness and the aspect of Bilbo feeling scared or threatened.

Trimmed out some short extraneous Bag End silliness: Got rid of the Bombur “eats it by the block” joke, trimmed out Ori’s excessively loud burp, and further down the line shortened Ori’s outburst at the dinner table.

Trimmed one short stanza from “Blunt the Knives” in order to remove ridiculous CGI plate tricks, but the majority of the song is still intact as it was in the book.

Redubbed some plate sound effects to account for rearranged song footage.

The Company now leaves the Shire in just 30 minutes compared to the original ~45.

- Roast Mutton -

Cut quick shot of Bombur inhaling bugs while snoring.

Shortened nighttime scene where Bilbo feeds his pony and they hear Orcs by removing the entire Moria flashback. Added new music cue to transition to the next scene.

The Azog subplot is not present in this edit. Removed all instances of him until The Battle of the Five Armies portion.

When the Company hears Orcs it serves as foreshadowing for when an Orc pack shows up to attack them after the Goblin caves.

During the on the road scene, trimmed out Bilbo insulting Gandalf (“is he a great wizard, or more like you?”) to adjust their characters to what feels more natural and book accurate.

Trimmed out some of the descriptions about Radagast. Now, this scene just serves as world building and characterization to continue growing Bilbo & Gandalf’s friendship.

Removed the Radagast scene that follows, along with every other scene of him that normally would come later.

With overlaying narration, new transition from riding the ponies to taking a rest by the Trollshaws.

Trimmed a few silly jokes in the Troll scene. William no longer sneezes for really long, he does not contribute to the chicken fish joke, and he does not scratch his butt in a close-up.

Reduced William being bullied by the other trolls in order to make them all seem more equally scary. This means, his nose is not grabbed for an extended period with silly noises and Bert no longer argues with him, where he was originally forced to sheepishly apologize.

Removed Ori trying to use a slingshot on a Troll and also made a quick trim near the end to speed pacing up when Bilbo frees the ponies.

Cut the Dwarves arguing with Bilbo about having parasites when he is clearly trying to stall the Trolls.

It is assumed all the ponies ran away after Bilbo freed some of them, and then when the Company got captured, it meant they were unable to tend to the rest. This is why they do not ride ponies after escaping the Trolls.

- A Short Rest -

Instead of Radagast showing up after the Troll cave, the music transitions into a new hiking montage using footage taken from later in the film, showing the Company progress towards Rivendell. Rescored and added waterfall sound effect for one of the shots.

Cut the entire Warg chase sequence. The first time the audience & Bilbo ever see Orcs or Goblins is now in the Goblin caves, like the book.

It is assumed that Gandalf led the Company to Rivendell without explaining where their pathway led, so it still makes sense that Thorin is upset when they arrive.

Cut all mentions of the Company drawing the Orcs near Rivendell.

Removed Elf-Dwarf romance jokes.

Removed the extended dinner part where the Dwarves sung a song as it slows pacing down and does not contribute much. Instead, we cut to night where they discuss the map like in the theatrical cut.

Cut Elrond’s hint at Galadriel’s presence near the end of the moon rune scene.

Removed Azog’s scene in Weathertop and rearranged the following Rivendell scenes into a linear night-to-day sequence.

We remain at night after the moon runes and with a new music cue cut to the Dwarves making food and relaxing. This was originally the next night, but now it is the same one.

Removed the joke about Bombur catching a sausage which breaks the bench, instead, he just breaks it because of his own weight.

The White Council scene is removed and placed on the special features. As soon as Elrond and Gandalf walk off to it, it cuts away with a new music transition to various establishing shots of Rivendell in the morning.

Removed Bilbo finding the shards of Narsil and the scene where Dwarves were swimming naked in the fountain, as neither fit the edit with my goals in mind.

Adjusted coloring in the Bilbo and Elrond scene to make it more cold, like an early morning.

Afterwards, we cut right to the Company leaving Rivendell later that morning, with a redone transition into the next hiking montage.

- Over Hill and Under Hill -

Using the remaining hiking footage, as some was used earlier, the Dwarves enter the Misty Mountains while the most triumphant part of the Misty Mountains theme plays.

Cut all stone giants as they were ridiculously exaggerated from the book, now Bilbo simply falls due to the slippery rocks and the distracting lightning. He is rescued and the following characterization with Thorin remains intact.

Digitally altered a repurposed shot of Dwarves by removing Bilbo & Dwalin’s head from the background to fix continuity, as the shot is framed as if they are looking over at them.[1]

Cut another Azog scene, we have still been sticking with the Company this entire time.

Removed the slightly jarring jump cut when Bilbo decides to turn back to Rivendell.

Goblin caves recolored to be slightly darker & less orange.

Removed all of the somewhat silly waterslide shots when the Dwarves fall in the Goblin trap so it appears as if they just fall straight down into the cage.

Removed silly sound effect when Bilbo tries to grab onto the rope when he gets knocked down into the lower caves.

Recut Goblin song to remove the Goblin King being silly, fist pumping, dancing in a circle, stepping on other Goblins, and discussing his song both before and after.

Removed Goblin king joking about Nori’s stolen silverware.

Cut the end of the scene shorter to remove Azog references & the Goblin messenger.

- Riddles in the Dark -

Cuts to Gollum’s cave right after, where Bilbo wakes up on his own without ever seeing Gollum.

Recolored Gollum’s cave to be slightly darker.

Bilbo now finds the ring like the book, clueless as to who owns it.

Slightly cropped and trimmed the close-up of Gollum floating on his raft so we do not see his full face. Now, the first time we see his entire face close-up is when he jumps out in front of Bilbo.

Trimmed Goblin King stepping on other Goblins as a footstool.

Cut all ridiculous combat techniques throughout the Goblin escape sequence. Anything that was extremely unrealistic or physically impossible has been removed.

When Bilbo slips and the ring falls on his finger, the CGI ring floats around his finger much less, as to appear more “realistic” and closer to the moment when the ring falls on Frodo’s finger in LOTR.

The Goblin escape sequence is now just 1 minute long compared to the original 4.

Goblin King does not return at the end nor does the Company slide down the entire cavern on a bridge.

As the Dwarves are running out of the tunnel, added dialogue from earlier that I had cut with Gandalf yelling “Daylight! Come on!” to help the audience understand that being in the daylight will save them.

- Out of the Frying-Pan into the Fire -

Trimmed out Gandalf noticing Bilbo hiding the ring in his pocket. While Gandalf may be suspicious, he does not know for sure that Bilbo has a ring, which we will see him discover in The Fellowship of the Ring.

Orcs & wargs show up to attack the Company. All shots of Azog removed throughout. A few additional Warg howls were added to sell the moment.

Removed Bilbo killing a Warg to maintain his non-warrior status. Throughout this edit, he only ever struggles to fight one Goblin and then kills two spiders, mostly with the help of the ring or element of surprise. Other than these instances of combat, he uses his wits and brains to escape situations, like the book.

Cut some of the sillier Dwarf combat tactics.

Replaced Azog’s introduction to the Dwarves with the introduction of a generic Orc Warg-rider. Not only does this help maintain the pacing of the action scene by letting the audience breath for a second, but it is also nice to directly show that Orcs are present without the audience having to assume so from seeing them in the background.

Redubbed nameless Orc subtitle to fit new context. Digitally removed the moon from the background for visual continuity and adjusted color correction to make the shots fit. Shots of nameless Orc were repurposed from the end of the scene where Balin told the story of The Battle of Azanulbizar.

Added two additional repurposed closeups of Orcs reacting to Gandalf throwing flaming pinecones in order to keep pushing the fact that Orcs are present in this sequence without them being awkwardly ignored. Added subtle shaky cam and minor flickering light effects to fit new placement.

Removed the entire Thorin charge with the Nazgul theme, as again, Azog is not present here. Along with this, Dwarves and Bilbo do not charge out either.

Dori slipping and grabbing onto Gandalf’s staff is spliced with the Eagles arriving and continuing to fall. This was done to not only account for the removed Orc battling, but also to make the moment more believable. That is, Dori is only able to hold Gandalf’s staff for a few seconds before falling.

New Eagle escape montage using the unused piece “Good Omen” to show their escape and progression. With this, removed the reusage of the Gondor theme that was in the original film.

As Thorin was not wounded by Azog, his unconscious body seen on Carrock has been digitally replaced with a rock and using deep fake technology the wounds on his face have been removed.[2]

The new montage soundtrack also helps with this more positive tone, as we are not worrying about Thorin’s health anymore.

Directly after Carrock, it cuts to black and transitions into the intermission music. This makes for a perfect rest break that also covers up the time jump from An Unexpected Journey to The Desolation of Smaug, as we reflect on how far the Company has come and how far they still have to go.

Intermission text, as found on the digital version, matches the color and font of the opening texts. The ISO version “Insert next disc” screen matches the official screen from the Blu-ray for An Unexpected Journey.

Digital intermission lasts for close to two minutes with music continuing from “Axe or Sword” that soon transitions into another piece. The next track, “The Quest for Erebor,” features the original ominous title screen music from The Desolation of Smaug and ends off with a Shire theme callback before finally fading into Part 2, making for a good segue.

- Queer Lodgings -

Removed The Desolation of Smaug opening screens, Bree scene, and title screen. Instead, we cut right back to the Company after they have left Carrock, which according to Peter Jackson’s audio commentary is about six hours later.

This new opening features a fade in showing a mountain range with the Wargs catching up to the Company, even after the Eagle escape. There is a little bit of dramatic irony earlier because Bilbo just said “the worst is behind them,” when we all knew that was untrue, so here we see why.

Removed all close-up shots of Azog. Instead, as always, the Warg pack is just depicted as unknown Orcs pursuing the Dwarves to seek revenge over the death of the Goblin King, like the book. Even without that book explanation, Orcs like to hunt for sport or to kill those in their territory, so it also works with that general logic.

New chase sequence into Beorn’s house beginning with a repurposed shot that has been color graded, along with some added Warg sound effects. This shot establishes the vast forest they have been in and the Misty Mountains in the far distance.

Rescored and rearranged, we now see the Company run through the forest and out towards Beorn’s house without any shots of Azog or any shots of the Company suddenly running through an empty grass plain between shots of them running through forests.

Cut Bombur clumsily running full speed into Beorn’s door.

The Dwarves open the door with a big push rather than struggling to open it. In general, while the Dwarves do have a comedic side to them, I have done these various trims to try to portray them as having general competence.

Shortened the struggle to close the door, as this action bit was not necessary.

Removed Bilbo petting the ring and Azog watching over the house.

Instead, cut from Gandalf's warnings to showing Beorn as a bear at night. New music cue used to transition to the morning scene where Dwarves are introduced to Beorn in pairs.

Removed mention of Azog during the Beorn breakfast scene. Luckily, the extended version of this sequence does not introduce an alliance of Moria Orcs and the Necromancer, so the rest of this scene can play out as normal.

Then, when the Company leaves, the extended edition includes the reintroduction of the Necromancer here. So, I simply reverted to the theatrical for this scene, to get the best of both worlds for the Beorn scenes, where we can stick to the main quest and not have references setting up Gandalf’s sidequest to the High Fells.

Rearranged and adjusted Gandalf’s discovery of the red eye symbol to remove the Sauron eye flashes, remove Bilbo mentally struggling and touching the ring, and remove Galadriel’s voiceover. Redubbed center channel to fix audio and re-add Gandalf’s footsteps.

Gandalf simply finds a red marking, which obviously represents something evil, and so he decides to investigate. It works well to keep this plot mysterious and secret rather than forcing obvious LOTR hints, that way both stories can work on their own and Sauron is introduced in the story where he is relevant, not in The Hobbit.

Removed the part where Bilbo struggled to admit he found the ring to Gandalf and then ended up lying as this was another ring of power reference. Instead, Gandalf just says he needs to leave, a new thunder sound effect plays; as it begins to rain the Company looks at him in disappointment.

Gandalf departs and his entire sidequest is removed, with him only returning right before the final battle.

- Flies and Spiders -

Trimmed some moments of Bilbo being distracted by the Mirkwood river. It should only really draw you in and delude you if you touch it.

Cut Bilbo looking cautious and a bit worried when told to test the vines first. Now, he looks determined and ready to prove himself again as a valued part of the Company.

Removed Bilbo telling the Company to not cross the river, as to fit with the river not being dangerous unless you fall in.

Cut Bilbo asking Thorin what he is doing when he tries to shoot the deer, as it is quite obvious that the Company will need food. Also cut the mentions of “luck,” as to make this moment more in line with the book and to downplay any antagonism between Thorin and Bilbo.

Bombur now falls in the river off screen, rather than falling asleep on the vines and then falling in, as to appear that you would not fall asleep unless you touch it, like the book.

Trimmed out Bilbo flicking the spiderwebs and talking about voices with Thorin to (again) downplay any verbal conflict between the two. Also, it is still too early to have this much foreshadowing about the spiders, it is better to let the audience put things together on their own.

The Company no longer purposefully wanders off the path as Bilbo yells back at them in order to make them seem less foolish.

Instead, inserted a shot from the theatrical version showing that they have naturally drifted away from the path and are far off it. Color corrected this shot and the following shot to have a more bluish tint that allows the footage to flow smoothly all together.

Cut Bilbo falling down after freeing the Dwarves, which originally led to him going crazy fighting a baby spider while worried about losing the ring.

Trimmed the most ridiculous action from the spider fight including when the Dwarves pull the legs of a spider out.

Subtle adjustments to the color grading to make a more gradual progression from the murky green sections to the more realistic and normal coloring once the Dwarves are captured, as I removed footage that used to be in between.

- Barrels Out of Bonds -

The Elves jumo up out of hiding to capture the Dwarves rather than Legolas having an action stunt where he slides down through the forest like a superhero. Moment is reminiscent of the Fellowship entering Lothlorien and being surprised by Elves.

Legolas makes his one minute cameo here, never to return for the rest of the movie. Tauriel is simply a background Elf warrior.

Cut Tauriel action when she saves Kili. Now, all the Dwarves are assumed to be captured together and then immediately searched.

As the Gloin-Legolas moment with the forced Gimli reference was cut, I had to reduce the surrounding Fili blade gag moments so the footage flowed. Instead of an Elf pulling out a dozen hidden weapons, the joke still works with just the second moment where he almost got away with hiding a knife, meanwhile we see the Elf holding a bunch already.

Trimmed out Legolas calling the Elves of Gondolin his kin, as in the actual Tolkien lore he probably would not have. They were distant Elves of a different strand.

Removed Dwarves being pushed into cells, mostly to get rid of the entire love triangle subplot, but also because the scene was not really necessary otherwise.

Added subtitle translation for Thorin’s Dwarvish insult to Thranduil so that the audience can understand the emotional struggle between the two races, that Thorin wishes Thranduil faced the same dragon fire that his people did.

Should be noted that the added subtitle is colored white, the same as the Elvish subtitles in Rivendell. This is to indicate that with their place in the story, they are the “good guys,” whereas the Wood Elves & Orc subtitles are more greyish, indicating that they are not exactly the “good guys” or to be trusted.

Cut the second half of the Thorin and Thranduil scene to remove the weird “serpent mouth” transformation. Thus, Thranduil’s response to Thorin’s insult is removed which originally gave context to what he said in Dwarvish, giving more reason to show the translated subtitle.

The Arkenstone is introduced here, but clueless audiences will be left in the dark until it is explained inside Erebor. This is intentional and keeps the audience engaged and curious, like Bilbo. It also makes us start to question the adventure, is there some ulterior motive or negative implications? In Laketown, this doubt will continue to be expanded with Bard’s opposition.

After the insult, it now cuts right to Thorin being thrown in a cell.

Removed Tauriel and Thranduil scene where Bilbo listens in on them.

Cuts from Thorin referencing Bilbo as their only hope to the scene of Bilbo walking through the wine barrel cellar.

Used a repurposed and flipped shot of Bilbo popping out in front of a wall in order to maintain the almost “match cut” of Thorin referencing their “only hope” to Bilbo’s face, while still making sense in the scene, rather than just cutting to a wide shot of the barrel room.

Cut Elf soldiers running towards the river. Now, the Dwarves barrel escape is just too quick and sudden for the Elves to be able to react and stop them.

Recut and rescored the barrel escape so that there is no battle with no Orcs or Elves present at all.

- A Warm Welcome -

Removed Kili’s wound subplot and any mention of Orcs tracking them. As soon as the Dwarves get out of the barrels, Bard is waiting there ready to confront them.

New digitally altered shots to remove any arrows stuck to the barrels after the Dwarves get on land.[2]

Removed more Orc scenes and we continue to stay with the Company. The last time we saw the Orcs was very briefly at the start of part two, and ever since then the Company has managed to escape them.

Adjusted my custom coloring in the entire Laketown sequence to give stronger blues so it looks colder.

Recut opening of Laketown to remove the gate scene with Alfrid. We just assume Bard successfully entered the town safely and the fish barrels kept the Dwarves hidden.

We then flow smoothly into Bard emptying the barrels, where the Dwarves get out and sneak to Bard’s house without being confronted or going through any toilets.

Used soundtrack “The World of Men” extracted by “The Hobbit - Complete Recordings” fan project to rescore their entrance to Laketown without the chase sequence.[3]

Removed the town guard chase sequence. In fact, there is no large suspicion of Bard as all Laketown spies are cut.

Removed all scenes with the Master and Alfrid until we get to the town center when the Dwarves are captured.

Removed Balin mentioning that only a black arrow can kill a dragon. In my cut, there is no rule and instead we assume that any strong weapon can kill a dragon, which obviously includes black arrows.

When asked about the weapons, Bard does not have to sneak them out of hiding from under a boat, and there is no longer a brief discussion between the Dwarves about the time restraint of their quest; in the single movie format, we do not need as many repeated references to our characters motivations and goals.

Jump cut to Bard pulling out the weapons. Removed a couple jokes when they were complaining about the weapons.

Continued to remove all references to Kili being wounded.

Removed cutback to Tauriel and Legolas, we now follow Bard as he goes to learn about who Thorin is.

Reverted to the theatrical version of the tapestry scene to remove the added shot of Alfrid spying on Bard.

Reverted to the theatrical version transition when the Company is sneaking into the armory, now skipping over the added Master and Bard scene.

Changed music cue transition to the lighthearted Bilbo theme which transitions better, often used in suspicious or sillier moments, which matches them climbing the wall.

Trimmed down Laketown town square scene. Removed all Alfrid dialogue except for one brief line and cut down on silliness with the Master.

Removed extended scene of Bilbo giving his word for Thorin as it was never expanded on. That is, Thorin never honestly thanked him or treated him differently afterwards, so the scene really only plays into Bilbo being super nice and Thorin being rude, and I also think the scene feels a bit odd in the sense that why would anyone trust Bilbo, who is another foreigner (and even different race too).

Removed almost all of post-meeting Laketown scenes because no Dwarves are left behind anymore.

Recut exit from Laketown. The trumpets sound, people cheer, and the Company departs.

- On the Doorstep -

Inserted a color adjusted shot from The Battle of the Five Armies showing Fili, Kili, Bofur, and Oin walking towards Erebor to help sell the illusion that all Dwarves are present.

Added digitally altered shot that shows all 14 members of the Company hiking to Erebor originally made for the Maple Films The Hobbit fan edit.[4]

As always, we stick with the Company. From the Laketown boats all the way to finding the secret entrance and entering Erebor, all Dol Guldur cutaways have been removed. New music cue transitions to blend everything together.

Recut and rescored the secret door scene to remove the Dwarves giving up at the first sign of failure, as to make them seem more competent.

Spliced in a shot of the Dwarves looking upon the door as Bilbo discovers it to help sell the illusion that they have always been there.

- Inside Information / Not at Home -

My custom color grading has been eased up on Smaug’s lair to allow the greens more room so that the coins appear gold and not reddish.

Recut moment when Bilbo pulls off his ring in order to remove the flash of Sauron’s eye.

Instead, Smaug’s deceptive and mysterious words, which subconsciously reference Gollum, end up scaring Bilbo into pulling off the ring.

Heavily recut the rest of the Smaug scene to remove all cutaways so that the entire sequence plays out together continuously with just Bilbo and Smaug.

That means, Bard is no longer arrested back in Laketown nor are there any action scenes with Legolas and Tauriel in Laketown.

Slightly rearrangement to get all the dialogue in the order it was in like the book, while also removing Smaug’s nonsensical mentions of “Oakenshield,” as that name was made long after the Dwarves fled Erebor.

Added dialogue that Smaug originally said to Thorin in the movie, but now says to Bilbo like in the book. Includes when he calls himself the “King under the Mountain,” how he laid low warriors of old, and how he instilled fear in the hearts of men.

Instead of Bilbo angering Smaug by talking about the black arrow and a prolonged visual reference to Smaug’s missing scale, Smaug is just naturally upset after having enough of Bilbo right when he says “our little game ends here.” The scene is now much more of a slower linear buildup to Smaug finally lashing out to kill Bilbo.

Makes for a perfectly smooth flowing conclusion to the sequence as Smaug breathes fire and Bilbo runs away, without trying to prolong tension or force references.

Removed the entire Dwarf chase sequence in Erebor, to place the focus on Bilbo, remove unnecessary action, stick to the book, and most importantly make Smaug still appear competent.

After escaping the treasure hoard, Bilbo finds his way into the grand entrance hall. New music cue transition added and blended in.

Smaug actually follows through with attacking Laketown instead of confronting Thorin and being covered in melted gold. This way, it also makes Smaug much more of a menacing villain, instead of being constantly distracted. It made little sense for Smaug to yell that he will show the Dwarves revenge, by not killing the Dwarves.

Layered additional crash/boom sound effect when Smaug breaks out through the gate. SFX taken from the original ending of The Desolation of Smaug.

New digitally altered shot showing Smaug breaking out of Erebor without being covered in gold.[2][4]

Jump cut from Smaug breaking the gate to the Dwarves by the hidden entrance. This scene has been repurposed, originally the Dwarves were reacting to the sound of a pillar breaking, now, they are reacting to the front gate being broken.

Fixed a random speck of light appearing in the dark hidden entrance hallway seen in the background for a split second.

Balin reacts with fear in his eyes, “That my lad, was a dragon,” in a rescored moment before cutting to the Laketown people reacting to the dragon.

Once in Laketown, we cut to Bard and his family reacting to Smaug, setting up his plot.

Cuts back to Bilbo reacting to Smaug’s departure outside of the gate, then ending off with Smaug flying towards Laketown reciting his final lines from The Desolation of Smaug.

Cuts back to Bard, where we will be staying for the next few minutes. He pulls out his hidden black arrow, and gets ready to fight the dragon.

- Fire and Water -

The edit seamlessly transitions from The Desolation of Smaug footage to The Battle of the Five Armies as Smaug begins to attack Laketown.

Recut the entire Laketown sequence to depict two main things: Smaug is destroying the town, and Bard is trying to kill him. No more Dwarves, Elves, Master, Alfrid, or Bard’s children.

Footage is heavily rearranged and edited to depict a new Bard vs. Smaug sequence that is more straightforward and faithful to the book.

Bard kills Smaug without the help of his son, using new digitally altered shots removing him from several shots.[2]

The Master still dies from Smaug falling on him, but it has been cut down so we do not see a close-up reaction. Most audiences will assume it is a random boat though, so there will be dialogue later to communicate he died.

- The Gathering of the Clouds -

Removed The Battle of the Five Armies title screen, and we transition from Ravenhill right back to the shores of Laketown, skipping over the Dol Guldur sideplot as always.

Spliced the shore scene with Bard reuniting with his kids. Beach scene has been color adjusted and recut to remove Alfrid, as to make things flow better.

Bard is celebrated and then Alfrid has his only other moment in this edit here. His brief lines are required to communicate to the audience in this scene that Bard is a humble leader and that the Master has died, so he must reluctantly take charge. If cut, it would be hard to tell the audience the Master had died and lose some Bard characterization.

Removed all beach moments with Tauriel and the Dwarves. After Bard takes up charge he says they need to find shelter, so I have added a shot of the Lonely Mountain to hint where they are headed.

Cuts right to the long march of Laketown people towards Dale, and then a repurposed extreme long shot of the mountain as we transition back to the Company searching for the Arkenstone.

Removed Bilbo pulling out the Arkenstone in broad daylight, along with the flashbacks to Smaug that never happened in my edit, because Smaug never talked about Thorin being corrupted.

Cuts to Thorin being angry about not finding the Arkenstone. Removed him lashing out at his friends.

Thorin now has a more linear and slower descent into madness. While he still becomes greedy and stubborn, he is never completely “dragon sick” or “crazy” in my edit. Thorin has been adjusted so that never reaches the lows he did in the originals. This allows for the removal of the “dragon sickness” that used to be necessary to explain his madness, and also it makes his change of heart more convincing.

Removed scene with Balin and Bilbo talking about dragon sickness, as this entire plot has been removed.

Continued to remove all Alfrid scenes throughout The Battle of the Five Armies portion.

Cut out two quick shots of the Bard-Thorin scene to remove a continuity error where the Company was seen behind the gate and then a few seconds later were suddenly on top of it.

Trimmed short the armory scene to remove Thorin’s voice turning into Smaug. It is better to save this type of moment for the front gate confrontation, where the same thing happens with his voice but less intense. Again, I am making Thorin less crazy, and more just a stubborn Dwarf king like the book.

Continued to remove all Legolas and Tauriel’s subplot scenes. There is no second Gundabad Orc army in this edit, they are just depicted as reinforcements in the final battle.

Gandalf finally shows back up after his long departure to warn everyone of Orcs coming. Cut the tent scene short to remove the discussion about Azog and Sauron’s master plan, as to keep closer in line with the book and scope of this story.

New music cue transitions into the actual Orc army marching, despite no one believing Gandalf’s warning. Redubbed subtitles to explain the context that they want to claim the mountain too, and removed extraneous dialogue about Bolg and Gundabad. Applied color correction to appear later in the day with a warmer reddish look.

- A Thief in the Night -

Cuts to night right afterwards where we see Bilbo sneak away.

Shortened Gandalf and Thranduil’s second discussion so we only get the essentials and none of the excessively harsh dialogue “If anything moves, kill it.”

All we get is that Thranduil does not believe Gandalf because he thinks he is trying to trick them to save the Dwarves.

Afterwards, this is the one moment in the entire edit where “dragon sickness” is mentioned, which I kept on purpose. It is spoken by Gandalf who is known for speaking in metaphors, and the dialogue contributes to the plot and his friendship with Bilbo. Cuts from that moment to the next morning without any Alfrid.

- The Clouds Burst -

Removed Thranduil randomly recommending to sell the Arkenstone to Gondor and trimmed out Thorin crazily yelling “I will kill you all,” again, to adjust the tone of his character arc.

Reverted to the theatrical version when Dain shows up in order to remove the Elf vs. Dwarf combat.

New digitally altered shot that shows tunnels in the mountainside before the Orcs show up, hinting that they were just recently dug.[2]

Recut Azog’s introduction to remove Wereworms and instead have his horn be the sound that draws everyone’s attention.

Returns to extended edition as the Dwarves form their shield wall. Trimmed out the gruesome deaths of the chariot rider Dwarves to fit the tone better.

Trimmed the following Gandalf dialogue so that Azog is never mentioned by name, which will be maintained for the entire edit.

Removed wacky design moments and set pieces, including no more catapult trolls, battering ram trolls, or pegleg trolls.

Removed the subplot of Bard and his children. Bard is now just the commander of the men.

New sequence with rescored soundtrack & rearranged footage to depict Bilbo in the middle of a bloody battle surrounded by Lakemen fighting, Gandalf being occupied by Orcs, and civilians being killed. As a result, Bilbo is forced to slip away from this complete carnage.

Bilbo shows his Baggins side and runs away from Dale with his ring towards Ravenhill, which is more like the book. He is a Hobbit, not a warrior.

Bilbo escapes to Ravenhill with a new music cue which allows a good transition back to the main forces fighting on the plains.

Heavily recut the remaining battle sequence, where it is much easier to just say what remains. A fifty-five minute sequence has been recut to now just under twenty.

Action shots of Thranduil and Dain fighting, but soon enough they start to lose the battle as it cuts to a wide shot showing the vast death and destruction with somber music seeping in.

Thranduil pulls back to Dale to help the men, the Dwarves are overrun, and Azog announces again, in a redubbed subtitle, his plans to claim the mountain.

Cut Azog’s subtitle saying the Dwarves are almost spent, as I want to make it seem like they still actually have somewhat of a chance and so their rally makes more sense.

Cut around Dain’s headbutting so that we don’t see that but still get his important dialogue as the camera pans out. Removed headbutt SFX from remaining audio.

Dwalin and Thorin’s discussion in the throne room is the pivotal moment which changes Thorin’s mind. Shortened the scene to remove Thorin lashing out at Dwalin, and instead he reacts in a close-up, almost looking completely devastated at what he has become. Soundtrack adjusted to fit new dialogue.

Subtle increase in color temperature as Thorin reacts to Dwalin’s last comment, starting the transition from a pale lone King to his normal looking self.

Removed another shot of catapult trolls.

As Bilbo is far away from the battle and not in Dale anymore, we do not see him react to Thorin’s charge. Instead, a repurposed shot of Bard has been inserted when the horn of Erebor sounds right before Gandalf reacts. Slow motion applied and audio adjusted to fit right in.

Rearranged footage after charge. The Dwarves charge, then the Men, and then we see Gandalf reacting that they may actually be able to win the battle. Surround sound mix with ambient battling recreated during Bard’s rescored final charge.

Cut back to Bilbo who has found his way into Ravenhill, but is suddenly swarmed by bats and knocked out by an Orc, then fades to black. Background has been digitally altered to remove Dwalin, as Bilbo is supposed to be by himself.

Next begins a classic action montage using the Misty Mountains theme while we see the Company fight all together against Orcs. Dain and Thorin embrace, and we see Thorin decide that Azog (nameless Orc leader) must be killed.

Now only Fili, Kili, and Thorin go to Ravenhill to try to kill Azog. Bilbo and Dwalin are obviously not present. It was somewhat of a plothole that Dwalin disappeared in the originals and was nowhere to be found when Thorin was dying, because was right there.

Ravenhill battle heavily resequenced and rescored.

Fili’s death is relatively the same, although the subtitle originally saying “then the brother” has been redubbed to say “then the other,” as Azog has no clue about their family structure in this cut.

Kili’s final moments have been restructured to depict him running in for Azog to avenge his brother, only for him to be overrun by Orcs. He then fights his way towards Thorin to help him, rather than fighting to defend Tauriel.

Thorin runs after Kili at first with some new brief dialogue yelling “Kili!”

Inserted quick shot of the War-Bats attacking the Dwarf army to pay homage to the book.

Kili is now just killed by an unknown Orc and Tauriel is not involved.

Thorin’s final duel has been slightly shortened, and the part where Azog falls under the ice and jumps back up has been removed.

Eagle scene recut to remove Radagast as well as digitally erase him from one of the shots.[2][4]

Eagle & Beorn montage reordered to sequence better with my recut of the Azog duel.

- The Return Journey / The Last Stage -

Bilbo wakes up and finds Thorin. New music cue transition from him grieving to Thranduil’s final scene.

Thranduil’s conclusion is a repurposed and recut scene from earlier in the movie, previously highlighting his motivations to retreat, but now being used as a scene where he reflects on the casualties of war.

New music cue transition back to Bilbo and Gandalf reflecting together in Ravenhill.

Added Gandalf’s cut eulogy during Thorin’s funeral which was found in the special features disc 11 appendices. Added reverb & echo to vocals in surround channels.

Adjusted custom color grading on the funeral to allow the greens to show more, maintaining a colder and sadder look.

Restructured dialogue in the Bilbo and Gandalf departure scene to reflect the dialogue in the book almost one-to-one. Additionally, now Gandalf does not mention the ring because he still has no idea Bilbo has it, we see him discover it in The Fellowship of the Ring.

- Credits -

Map outro now fades to black in order to transition to the custom credits.

Credits sourced from An Unexpected Journey, but edited to reflect the starring cast of all three films together, along with the full cast of characters that were actually seen in my edit. Renamed credit listing for “Azog” to “Bolg” as a little homage to the book. I might as well, because he is never named in my edit.

New main credits music “Misty Mountains Cold” by Clamavi De Profundis with their names added to the credits.

Afterwards, the unused piece “Dreaming of Bag End” plays to reflect how this edit is more Hobbit & Bilbo focused, and then it ends off with the classic Misty Mountains theme as heard in “The World is Ahead.”

Adjusted the music credits page for the in-universe compositions so that it includes all pieces heard in my edit, not just the ones from the first movie.

Removed any mention of An Unexpected Journey in the copyright information section, as this edit is just titled The Hobbit.

Added “Special Thanks” credits near the end with the names of people who have heavily supported this project.

Michael Sinclair[1], Eric Odmyr[2], Timothée Masurel[3], Dustin Lee[4]
Cover art 1 by M4_ (DOWNLOAD HERE)
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Cover art 1 by M4_ (DOWNLOAD HERE)
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Cover art 1 by M4_ (DOWNLOAD HERE)
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Cover art 1 by M4_ (DOWNLOAD HERE)
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New VFX/Digital Alterations


New Opening (Preview)


Smaug Leaves Erebor (Preview)


Removing Azog (Preview)

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9.7
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9.0
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Finally had the chance to sit down and watch this edit. I can now honestly say that it truly lives up to it's hype. I was afraid that some of the VFX (namely the wood replacement of Bard's son) would be noticeable or distracting, however I can now say that those worries have been put to rest. Watching the edit in it's entirety flows so incredibly well that at no time did it ever feel like a 3-in-1 edit.

M4's editing instinct to cut down scenes for the sake of the overall narrative is masterful. The evolution Bilbo and Thorin's relationship is my overall favorite part of this edit. Removing the flip-floppy nature of their relationship that was present in the original 3 films resulted in a very emotionally impactful conclusion that originally felt largely resolved by the end of the first film.

My main criticism stems from some audio editing that was noticed, mainly in the music. Musical key's shift and clash a few times when the score is faded, levels seemed a bit off (mainly in the goblin tunnels), the bass track seemed to be missing in some scenes that largely needed it (Smaug's fall in Laketown, the bell breaking through the barricade of the lonely mountain, etc.). I also found it a bit odd including two references to Radagast the Brown without him showing up. Usually if a character is mentioned more than once, it is seen as a narrative setup for the character's reveal. I think cutting him mentions entirely would have been fine, with only a reference to the 5 wizards and Saruman's namedrop. Overall, these criticisms are extreme nitpicks that did not take away from my enjoyment of the edit at all.

Overall, the narrative that M4 bleeds from the source material has led to my personal favorite cinematic interpretation of The Hobbit. This version will be the one I return to for each of my yearly Lord of the Ring's rewatches. Thanks for the great work, M4!

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The edit is as close to the book you can get. This is probably the reason this edit really shines in the narrative. The pacing is so good the four hours really fly by when watching this edit. It also includes some impressive VFX edits that haven’t been done before in Hobbit edits, to make certain scenes work better.

Unfortunately going by the book while being limited to the source material leads to some compromises during the last stages of the battle of five armies, which reduce the enjoyment for me. The way it is structured is not too bad. However, when most of the edit is so well made that it could be an official ”The Hobbit Extended Edition”, certain parts of the end battle just made me feel too much like watching a fan edit in comparison.

That being said, this edit has earned its place for me whenever I want to watch the Hobbit in a single 4+ hour marathon session. My favorite way of doing it would be watching this for the first 3:23.55 leading right up to the battle of five armies, and then finishing with Episode 5 of Stromboli Bones’ Edit for a version of the battle that fits my tastes better.

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The M4 Book edit takes the extended Hobbit trilogy and only cuts what wasn't present in the book. Whist this does remove bad elements such as Legolas being forced into the movie and the love triangle which everyone despised, it also cuts parts that were enjoyable such as shortening the "Blunt the Knives" song (Which is one of my favorites alongside misty mountains) in favor of minimizing the fantastical elements. The new VFX are seamless but I feel this edit, although true to its goal, cuts too much of what I enjoyed on top of what I didn't. If you're looking for a truly faithful adaptation of the book, here it is. But if you enjoyed the Hobbit movies for what they were, you may find certain elements lacking.

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Top notch. I just finished the whole movie (and have watched most of the commentary audio too).

I have to say.. wow, bravo. I doubt that I'll have anything to say that hasn't already been said by others, but I still feel like I want to state them anyway, and to pay respects to the creator.

I've pretty much always hated The Hobbit movies ever since first seeing them in theaters. The gross overuse of CGI, the over-the-top buffoonery of the dwarves, unnecessary slapstick humor like the trolls and potty humor, etc. All the unnecessary fluff, added characters, etc. that not only were not in the book but also totally broke the pacing of the movie and turned them into snorefests.

What M4 has done with this edit is jaw-dropping. The sheer attention to detail, the near flawless transitions (I couldn't think of a single time I noticed a cut was made- this is seriously impressive.

Cutting out Azog and all the orc chasing of the party was one of the best decisions I could imagine. One of my biggest gripes about the original movies was how little room for any meaningful character development between the party. One of the main reasons? The constant peril they are in, non-stop, to the point where it becomes exhausting to watch. Good pacing requires a balancing of action, threat of danger, and quiet moments dedicated to exposition and character development and relationships. I applaud the creator for managing this with the existing footage. By cutting out Azog and him constantly popping up to hinder the company, we're able to focus more on their bonding as a group. Not to mention, it much better fits the less serious tone of the Hobbit when compared to it's more serious and darker counterpart (Lord of the Rings).

Watching this cut, I also barely noticed the CGI. As I said before, watching the uncut movies, I couldn't get past that and it totally broke the immersion. Very impressively done.

Long story short- I found myself actually enjoying watching this movie, whereas before, I only enjoyed one-off scenes (like the great riddles in the dark scene). I especially appreciate all the attention to detail- not making the hobbits these amazing warriors, cutting out the part of Bilbo watching Gollum drop the ring before his finding it, all the audio and soundtrack touches, etc. Way too many to mention.

Thanks so much M4 for putting this together! With this cut of The Hobbit, I can finally add it alongside my watch-throughs of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Can't wait to share this with my friends and family!

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Really enjoyed this! Seamless cuts, nice flow, and some very impressive VFX. Probably my new favorite way to watch The Hobbit!!

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